Saturday, April 13, 2013

When to abandon?

Here is a picture of a piece I was experimenting with. I had been playing with cubic right angle weave and making shapes. I went right off the track I feel. 
I kept telling myself keep going it will reveal itself and I spent quite a number of hours on it.

Eventually I stopped, took a good look at it and decided I was wasting my time and put it aside.

Today I was looking at it again and thought it could make a story for the blog.

I would like to ask - 
Do you abandon pieces you started? 
Do you keep going no matter what? 
How far do you have to take a piece before you know it isn't going to get any better? 
What do you do with abandoned pieces?
Do they stay in a container of possible ideas?
Do you pull them apart and return the beads to their containers?

I would really like to hear your story.


  1. I will play.

    I would have torn that piece apart to recover the rivoli. More likely, I would have just cut the rivoli out.

    I do abandon pieces- I guess that is obvious from the above.

    I do keep a container of "bits and pieces" which were experiments. They are never a total failure.

    There is not a single answer to the "how far do you take a piece before you know it isn't going to get any better." Some are obvious at the very beginning because the structure is just not there to take you on the envisioned path. Some are not obvious until near the end.

    Here is what I do know... I learn something from them all so despite the fact there is no finished product the time was not wasted.

    1. Hi KJ I totally agree, I learn from most things I make. When I tidied up and got organised awhile back, I promised myself that I would pull things apart that I knew weren't going anywhere. I have stuck to that. This will be pulled apart eventually.

  2. dear patrick,
    it happens very often to me to try several ways of beading and finally let them sleep in my special box : "mistakes to continue an other day" and it works... because several days or months after, more techniques new beads etc help me to reflect differently or to be less perfectionnist also maybe...:)) hope it will help you a little bit.
    one day a professionnal told me "dont worry you never waste or fail or work for nothing because you always learn...and one day the idea come back !"
    best regards :)

    1. Thank you Sylvia and I also agree, we learn from our doings. Wise words from the professional.
      Thanks for visiting.


  3. Patrick,

    To be honest, I think this project is off to a great start! I love the focal.

    When I make something I'm not sure about, I do one of two things. If I've spent a whole lot of work on it, I put it away in my Works In Progress box. If I still don't like it in a week or two, I'll take it apart. If I've just started a project and can see it's taking a wrong turn, I'll take it apart and start over right away.

    I just finished a bead embroidery piece that I love, but which started out as something I couldn't stand -- the colors were all wrong, and it looked dreadful. I took the beads off the foundation and started again with another color scheme. I'm so glad I did -- it's now one of my all time favorite pieces!

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I will probably pull the rope off this and make it a pendant or incorporate it into something else.
      I like the Works in Progress box idea. i have a box I now call the Graveyard collection. I like to sift through it sometimes as you can rekindle an idea and you have more knowledge to improve on it or make it easier/better etc.
      I promised myself when I got more organised that I would pull pieces apart that aren't going to go anywhere and so far I have stuck to that.


  4. Hi, Patrick! My 'mistakes' are almost always in color selection, and since I definitely am 'color-challenged', I often have to try 4 or 5 different combinations, stitched far enough into whatever design I'm experimenting with, so I can see the proportions of each color in a large-enough swatch to see if they work. I seem to have a talent for selecting harmonious colors, except for one single choice in the palette which ruins the whole thing. If I put it away til the next day (or week, or month), I can almost always identify the 'wrong' one quickly and replace it with another color, or shade or finish of the same color. I save each 'mistaken' piece and label it with the bead numbers used, so I can check back if I'm using a similar palette in another piece, to see what didn't work the last time I tried those colors together.

    My designs are almost always sketched out completely, with thread paths and number/size of beads added in each stitch, so the mechanics of new designs almost always work the first time around. This method uncovers a lot of potential mistakes, and ultimately saves me a lot of time when I get to the actual stitching.

    Also, I find that making a freeform piece - beadwoven or embroidered - teaches me a lot about putting various colors and/or shapes together in a compatible arrangement.
    As far as I can tell, you aren't color-challenged in the least! But maybe these comments will help someone with the same problems I have regarding color selection. *-) Betsy